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Trump goes Bollywood With just 24 days before the election, the Republican nominee addresses a Hindu charity concert in New Jersey.

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10/15/2016 10:47 PM
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Trump goes Bollywood With just 24 days before the election, the Republican nominee addresses a Hindu charity concert in New Jersey.
[link to www.politico.com]

EDISON, N.J. — With Donald Trump scrambling to regain his footing and the election 24 days away, the Republican nominee spent his Saturday evening at a Bollywood-themed charity concert in New Jersey.

Trump’s surreal appearance, in which he praised Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and criticized China’s theft of American intellectual property to some 10,000 Hindus in between song-and-dance numbers, pulled him away from battleground states and debate prep in the closing days of the campaign. But the event’s host, Republican Hindu Coalition founder Shalabh Kumar, gave Trump’s joint victory fund $900,000 in July.

Trump spoke of his admiration for the Indian people and their most-practiced faith. "I'm a big fan of Hindu and I'm a big fan of India," Trump told the crowd, which had been given signs that read “Trump for Hindu Americans,” at the New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center.

"Mumbai is a place that I love. It is a place that I understand," he said, after initially referring to the Indian mega-city by its old colonial name, “Bombay.”

“I look forward to working with Prime Minister Modi, who has been very energetic in trimming India’s bureaucracy,” said Trump, praising India’s nationalist leader. Trump pledged “to do some serious bureaucratic trimming right here in the United States.”

Trump pledged that India and the United States would be “best friends” under a Trump administration and called out China for an estimated $360 billion in annual intellectual property theft from the U.S., an issue that also continues to weigh heavily on U.S.-India relations. He also plugged his real estate projects in the country.

At the event, which was called “Humanity United Against Terror,” a Hindu nationalist group handed out cards that depicted Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton as the devil, with horns photo-shopped onto her head, shouting “Get Modi!” and pointing at a terrified-looking prime minister. Shaun McCutcheon, the plaintiff in a landmark 2014 Supreme Court case that paved the way for massive contributions to joint victory funds, and attorney Dan Backer of “Scam PAC” fame sat near the front of the hall.